Thursday, July 11, 2013

Quar radio communications...


Due to spending the past weekend remodeling, and the better part of this week fighting off Grandfather Nurgle's plagues (I'm winning on that front, albeit slowly...), there's nothing to report as far as hobby news. Indeed I wasn't going to bother with a post at all today but found the following story on a zombiesmith forum post that ties in nicely with my Quartillery Forward Observer from my last post. Radio technology is quite new in the Quar's world where battlefield communications were instead sent mainly via Pykpyk (kinda like a squirrel used as a carrier pigeon). Thus I can only hope my Forward Observer's radio messages don't give me similar results (and especially after having already called in one airstrike on myself in my bolt action demo game...).

Caerten Aoos and his quar were in a tight spot. His command section and the rest of the Rahjkan 7th were pinned down by a pair of tractors and several crewed machineguns, and the enemy was advancing. To make matters worse, he had no way of calling for help.

No reliable way, anyways.

He glanced over his shoulder at the smoking hole that was all that remained of Milwer Hynn and his pykpyks. Aoos cursed the lucky Arnyaran sod who had dropped that particular mortar round on them. All he had left was Rhyfler Teh and the damned contraption GHQ had foisted upon him.

No more pykpyks! they’d said. No more pigeons! No more taking guns off the line! To hear those lucky so-and-so’s tell it, the wireless could beat the crownies singlehanded.

But they were safe in a tent someplace, and he was getting the stuffing knocked out of him. Half of first platoon were down, wounded or outright dead. Second was in little better shape, and the two Chyweethls were closing fast.

“Dammit,” he cursed. “Teh, get over here. Bring the brick.”

The rhyfler grumbled and added a few choice words of his own but rolled out of his nice, deep foxhole just the same. He reached back into the hole and lugged the huge wireless set up and over the rim. Teh crawled across the hardpan of the altiplano, dragging the radio behind him. Aoos didn’t trust the bloody thing, not one bit, but right now he had no choice.

Teh wound the crank on the side of the wireless and tossed the handpiece to his officer. He kept cranking while otherwise trying to keep as low a profile as possible.

“Nest One, Nest One, this is Blackbird,” Aoos felt stupid using the codewords, but the diminutive quar from the SBS had been very, very persuasive, and he didn’t fancy another ‘interview’ with him. “I’ve got two Chyweethls at Position Grand. I repeat, two Chyweethls at Position Grand. Request immediate response.”

The static emanating from the speaker changed tone and volume for a moment, but that was it. Aoos repeated the whole message just to be sure.

“We heard you the first time, Blackbird. Stop tying up the lines,” a bored voice crackled back eventually. The officer restrained the urge to turn his Gryfkis on the damned thing, but only barely.

“Don’t worry, lads! We’ve got help on the way!” Whether that help came as artillery, aeros, or a tractor of their own, Aoos didn’t really care. Not so long as GHQ did something while most of his quar were still alive to benefit.

Twenty minutes later, Caerten Aoos was still pinned down and absolutely livid. The royalist advance had stalled – one of the tractors looked to be hung up, and the other would not continue on alone, and the rhyflers wouldn’t budge without the armor – but the volume of fire passing mere inches above his head had not abated. Nor had the endless barrage of mortar rounds and light artillery slackened at all. Thankfully it was overshooting their position by about thirty feet, but it still cut off their retreat. There had been no sign of at all of any kind of relief. Aoos had made a half-dozen calls to GHQ, with no response. He was about to send Teh off with a written message when the rhyfler pointed at something moving behind them.

“Oh, thank the fathers,” Aoos whispered.

Whatever it was, it was moving fast. An Ailthean, maybe, or one of the local tractor-hunters they’d captured and refitted. It was kicking up a tremendous amount of dust. The driver careened right through the bombardment area and skidded to a halt next to the shredded remnants of Aoos’ command tent.

Bullets struck metal somewhere within the pall of dust. Aoos waited for a response – the main gun firing, a machinegun, anything.

Instead, he heard a quar shouting. He sounded shrill, almost panicked.

“Hey! Hey, who’s shooting? Quit it!”

A door slammed open and a fat, sweaty quar in overalls and a floppy hat fell out. He immediately rolled into Teh’s vacated hole.

“What the deuce is going on?” Aoos shouted at him.

“I don’t know,” the newcomer whined. “They told me you guys needed stuff out here, right away.”

“What’s in the truck?” Aoos howled, aghast. The dust had settled to show a simple panel truck, now riddled with bulletholes.

“Two cheesewheels and a canned ham.”

Written by: maccionaith on the zombiesmith forums

No comments: